As home and property values slipped across the nation between 2006 and 2009, so did the divorce rate. In fact, it was down about 7% during that time period, as couples claimed they simply couldn't afford to part ways. “My husband lives in the guest room, and he comes home on Wednesday nights early to have dinner with the kids,” explained Sallie Frederick “and the other nights he comes home late to give me my space, so it's not perfect."
Now the trend seems to be changing. A firm in Washington DC reports an increase in business of 20 to 25% over the last six months. Here in Washoe County though, like the economy, the divorce rate isn't necessarily on the rise. “In my practice there's been a real drop off in the last month.” says family practice attorney Jonathan King. “I looked at the number of filings this year versus last year and it's about the same. No real spike one way or the other.” King has been practicing for 35 years. He says it's typical to see a small increase in divorce just after the holidays, but so far, February has been slow.
The declining divorce rate may also indicate that the economy's impact on marriage hasn't been altogether negative. In a study done by the National Marriage Project, many couples report that the recession has actually strengthened their relationship. The same study indicates couples with a college degree are half as likely to say they have considered divorce.